RPGs have long attracted society’s socially-awkward. It provides a catalyst to explore new aspects of yourself, your personality, your beliefs. It challenges those same aspects as well. RPGs have thus been a lightning rod for some players – you either play the way they say you have to play (in other words, the way that makes them feel most comfortable) or you don’t belong in the game. No where is this more prevalent than with minorities and in particular women at the gaming table.
Now listen, we’re all nerds. If you’re reading this you’ve probably got a crumpled up nerd card in the back of your wallet proclaiming whatever geek flag you hold claim to. Nerds, nearly by definition, are outcasts. We’ve never been comfortable around anybody let alone those whose backgrounds we are unfamiliar with. Introduce someone that upsets that norm and we get defensive and inarticulate. When in truth, they are very much more like us than we realize.
RPGs aren’t (likely) to solve the Syrian refugee crisis, economic disparity, or the multitude of other important issues we face as a society. But what they can do, and do very well, is shine a light on us – on nerds – and show us at our best. Or our worst. We should take this opportunity then not to exclude but to instead start welcoming disenfranchised players in a safe and constructive atmosphere. Remember, we’re ALL nerds here. We all want a chance to play the game and we’re all going to be socially awkward as fuck. But that’s no excuse to be rude, sexist, racist, homophobic, or otherwise downright mean to our fellow players. Being awkward is not an excuse to be rude.
Take a look at our latest video. These are actual real-life true stories from some of the girls featured in the video! Some are funny, sure, but all are appalling. Take a look back at your interactions with newbies at the table… what could you have done better to make them feel more comfortable? More accepted? More, well, welcome? Share your horror stories in the comments below! Also, share your thoughts on how we can be more accommodating to our fellow nerds. After all, we can level up faster if we work together. Thanks! Now be good and get your game on!